A lot of people believe that inspiration is a gentle feeling that takes hold on one while sipping a hot coffee or while watching the raindrops trickling down the window in front of one. All is calm and favourable around one and it is then the inspiration appears. Quite possible, maybe. For some. I, instead, have a different relation with inspiration. The best way to describe it – a raptor and its prey. Me being the prey.
Many people believe that the things I make or the majestic sentences I write appear before them as they initially were, in their finite state. If you were inspired, here’s the result – they say. I disagree. And not because I got out of bed today on the wrong side. Certain things must be polished. And since things are things, they get stubborn. Sometimes, more even than the artist.
How does inspiration appear? Like it follows. I go to sleep at night. I read a couple of pages, before sleeping, from the book sitting on my nightstand. Then, I close the book, I turn off the light and silence unfolds. I close my eyes and I try to thin the number of thoughts rebounding upon my forehead. So much silence around! Sometimes, this silence deafens me. Once the triage is done, I only have to deal with a couple of small insurgent thoughts, determined to show me who’s in charge. There, I chased them away. The coverlet swooshes. It’s a sign that I’m falling into sleep. My head sinks a little bit more into the pillow. And my eyelids no longer flicker. It’s quiet, very quiet. Bang! The beast has thrown itself upon my pillow. I feel it around my pate. I lay still. It is going to feel that I take no regard to it and it will leave. Yes, yes, it will leave. Stillness. A couple of long moments that make my pulse rise. Maybe it left. Oh, it would be wonderful if it left. In this case it would be easy for me to fall asleep. Yes, I am free. I try to keep my lids closed. I won’t open them. I never make this mistake. Yes, it left. I manage to push the door over the leg of a thought wanting to use this moment of carelessness and pour in. But no! I am lost. The beast’s paws advance, causing unevenness in the pillow. I feel it. It slowly blows over my cheeks and gently lowers its muzzle in order to catch the exact moment when I open my eyes. A great force attracts it to the door where I just succeeded to cast away that impish thought. Very easily, the beast breaks open the door. It got in. But it’s ok. I hear the growl of the beast and it seems to be something I can resist to. The growl repeats. And then once more a little louder. And then louder. Yes, I see. It’s clear to me. I’ll think about it tomorrow. I repeat the growl a couple of times, just to make sure I can reproduce it the next day. I fall asleep while repeating it to myself. I wake up the next morning. Nothing. Nothing has stayed with me. And it was so simple. So clear. But no, not even a trace. What a pity!
When the same think happens again, I no longer repeat the growl in my head. I run through the house, searching for a piece of paper and a pen. I must take notes. Otherwise I am going to forget. I’m sure I will forget. After writing it down, I can go back to bed and fall gently into sleep.